A contemporary intervention enhances an historical building making it accessible and open to the city
The redevelopment of the former Palazzo Sorgente in Piazza Cordusio, one of the main junctions of the centre of Milan, transformed the inward-looking character of a building of high historical-architectural value and opened it up to the city. The inclusion of new commercial spaces on the ground floor and the creation of an open courtyard opened the building to new flows, thus making it permeable.
The floors from the second to the sixth become office areas, with emphasis put on the large glass surfaces and the flexible divisible spaces. The roof on the sixth floor, free from the equipments previously housed, becomes a new glazed volume destined for new offices with 50 workstations. The opaque glass cover imparts lightness, an almost ethereal feeling, to the added storey, its surface reflecting changes of light throughout the day. The sections on the glass surface - plates of steel and fibre cement - recall those on the façade, thus making the added storey perfectly integrated with the building without giving the impression of wanting to imitate its features.
The creation of the inner courtyard's glass roof has helped redesign the Uniqlo store‘s spaces on the lower floors completely. The roof has in fact created complete continuity between the large retail areas, as well as providing a covered passageway of direct communication between the square and the neighbourhood behind it. The three floors making up the Uniqlo store will be given visual continuity through a staircase connecting them and an internal bridge located on the first floor.
The divisions that used to define spaces on all floors have been removed, thus creating a flexible and bright uninterrupted ring that winds from the inner courtyard to the façade. Following a philological restoration, the building's façade has been cleaned and painted in two warm tones of grey, making it more contemporary while emphasizing its original style.